Bolton desperately need a win to climb out of the relegation zone after they missed an opportunity to do so against Tottenham, and their job should be made easier by the fact their opponents don’t have much to play for. The Baggies will try to keep the rich vein of form and thus remain in the top half of the standings and they won’t be too concerned with Bolton’s survival plans.
Missed opportunity against Tottenham
Following some scintillating displays last season, nobody really expected Bolton to be fighting for survival this term, but once the Trotters slipped into the danger zone, they were never able to leave the relegation battle. Everybody knows this team have too much quality to go down, but that won’t matter much if they end up getting relegated. Owen Coyle’s side boosted their survival hopes by beating Villa away and bringing one point from Sunderland, but they then succumbed to a 4-1 defeat to Tottenham, even though they matched their more illustrious opponents during long periods of the game. In spite of their poor league position, Bolton appear to be in good form at the moment and with their motivation at an all time high, the Trotters can be trusted to beat indifferent West Brom. There are no doubts this is a must-win game for Bolton, but their fans can be happy that Owen Coyle’s side won their last four must-win games, beating the likes of QPR, Blackburn, Wolves and Aston Villa.
Nigel Reo-Coker is doubtful with a leg injury, but Darren Pratley, Stuart Holden, Fabrice Muamba, Ricardo Garnder and Chung-Yong Lee remain unavailable.
Another great season for West Brom
Once the usual suspects for relegation dogfight are slowly becoming genuine mid table side and they owe it all to the new England manager. Roy Hodgson arrived to Hawthorns following a disappointing spell at Anfield, but he quickly managed to take the Baggies from the relegation zone to 11th-place finish. The team have been even more impressive this season and they sit in 10th place in the standings with just two games to go. West Brom are now looking to end the season on a high and possibly secure their first ever top table finish, but all the hype surrounding Hodgson’s appointment could have a negative effect on the side. The experienced manager has agreed to lead the Baggies in the final two games of the season and he will want to have a strong finish, but his side are set to face a difficult task at Reebok Stadium. Home field advantage and much bigger motivation could give Bolton the extra edge in the clash between two evenly matched sides.
James Morrison and Shane Long are expected to be in contention, but Zoltan Gera and Steven Reid are definitely out.
Bolton have been showing a lot of potential of late and with the quality they have in their ranks, the Trotters can be trusted to beat very good West Brom side. The Baggies are unlikely to surrender without a fight, but it looks as though nothing is going into their favour at the moment.
Our prediction: Home win
Odds: 2.10 (11/10)